Procedures for processing urgent protection cases: Travel arrangements

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

General liaison with the IOM

At visa offices where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is generally involved in the post-selection process, the visa office should liaise with the responsible IOM representative to make them aware of the urgent nature of the case and the need to process the case on an urgent basis.

Regular timelines used by IOM for Canadian resettlement cases are not applicable for UPP cases. Travel arrangements should be made as soon as possible. This may include arrangements for travel documents, transit visas and exit clearances, as well as transportation arrangements, including completion of immigration loan forms for transportation IMM 0500.

If the visa office generally contacts the International Committee of the Red Cross or other agencies to arrange travel documents, this contact should also be made as soon as the decision to process the case is made.

Transportation arrangements

The IOM should arrange the earliest possible transportation, even if this involves a weekend arrival at the POE and/or a more expensive class of ticket. UPP cases also travel after the end-of-year cut-off date for resettlement arrivals.

If possible, the IOM will make efforts to have the refugees arrive during regular hours to simplify reception services provided by the service provider organizations (SPO) or reception house staff. Otherwise, where arrivals are possible only late at night or on weekends, the SPO and POE will arrange overnight accommodation and onward flight. The SPO will inform airport reception of any layovers at the POE.

Any additional transportation arrangements that the officer may be able to make, such as ensuring that a host country and/or any transit countries regard the temporary resident's permit or the permanent residence visa as an acceptable travel document are encouraged. Note that some asylum countries have accepted the confirmation of permanent residence IMM5292 or permanent residence visa counterfoil for this purpose.

Notice of Arrival Transmission (NAT)

The visa office should send the NAT to the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) as soon as possible. The ROC-O will ensure that copies are also sent to the appropriate port of entry (POE), regional office, local Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office, airport reception service, and service provider organization (SPO). This is particularly important given the short notice that will be provided in most of these cases and given that some arrivals may be outside normal working hours or on weekends.

In-Canada travel arrangements

Where the IOM has not made onward transportation arrangements to the place of final destination in Canada, an IMM 0500 will be completed at the POE and the POE will make any necessary travel arrangements.

Transportation costs

The nature of urgent protection cases means travel arrangements are being made quickly. As a result, travel costs may be somewhat higher than for regular refugee cases. In cases where the travel costs are excessive, a contribution can be requested from NHQ (ROC-O) to cover all or part of the loan. Only JAS cases are eligible for a contribution.

The POE may request an additional contribution for in-land travel for JAS cases whenever the balance of the transportation loan was also covered by a contribution. A transportation loan (form IMM 0500) will be used in all cases to record the transportation and related costs.

For more details on refugee travel, see Appendix C, Guide for Refugee Travel.

One-year window of opportunity—non-accompanying family members (following family members)

Efforts will be made to process all family members concurrently. All family members must be identified on the principal applicant’s application form and on the undertaking. The ROC-O, reception centres/SPOs and sponsors need to be informed that the family has been separated when provided with the arrival information about the principal applicant.

If the separated family is not in need of urgent protection, they will not be processed urgently but should be processed on an expedited basis. The Reception Centre/SPO should inform the family/ sponsors of these procedures. The case will be coded "OYW" instead of UPX.

Applicants for urgent protection need to be counselled that there is no commitment to admit family members who are found to be inadmissible. It is important to inform the referring agency of any possible complications caused by inadmissible family members so that the agency may make decisions regarding resettlement alternatives.

Pre-departure counseling

If there is sufficient time prior to departure, the applicant should be counselled concerning their participation in the JAS program, if applicable, or in the government-assisted programs and what to expect on arrival in Canada. If the officer does not have direct access to the applicant, the referral organization or IOM officers may be asked to conduct a brief orientation.

Post-departure follow-up

When an urgent protection case arrives in Canada on a temporary resident permit, the visa office will forward the complete file to CPC-Vegreville (including the IMM 0008 Schedule2) with a copy to the local IRCC office. The file should note what admissibility assessments have been initiated by the visa office and the current status of these assessments. The results of all assessments initiated by the visa office are to be forwarded to CPC-Vegreville immediately upon receipt by the visa officer.

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